Moving from one residence to another can be quite stressful. Keep in mind that the magnitude of this strain can only be quantified when one’s physical stress levels are measured. However, one can also suffer mental and emotional stress from a move, though they are often ignored.
Now, this brings us to imagine what it must feel like for an older adult who has to leave their home, that they have known for years, for a new one. The transition can be pretty daunting.
After looking at the situation critically, our loved ones may become very skeptical about the move and decide not to follow through. This is exactly why there should be a provision of help to ease the anxiety that comes with relocating.
It is important to note these worries and anxieties – that come with the transition – cannot be completely eliminated. It is okay for them to have reservations about leaving their old community. Nevertheless, the purpose of this article is to discuss ways to alleviate such worries to the barest minimum.
Finding a suitable retirement independent living community for your parents is a good place to start. Luckily, Seasons Retirement is always ready to help with this. Their nice, friendly retirement communities will aid your loved one’s transition process to make it seamless. Furthermore, the following are tips to help you and your loved ones during and after a move into a retirement home.
Tips for a smooth transition to a retirement home
We have come up with a list of steps to help your beloved parents transition into a retirement living community with ease. We will be discussing these tips in two stages – Before the Move and After the Move.
Before the Move
After your parents have decided to move to a retirement residence, there are a couple of things to do to make their transition as effortless as possible. The following are some of the steps to take.
1. Choose the right community
First and foremost, take your time to research and visit different retirement living communities in your region and surrounding areas. This will help you learn about what it feels like to live in these places.
You can speak to the staff about the kind of possessions your parents can bring with them to the home. Also, you can make your findings on what type of meals are being offered, and so many other things.
If you feel welcomed by a retirement community, there is a high chance that your loved ones will receive similar treatment there.
2. One-time visit
Having decided on the best retirement home for your folks, you should consider visiting the place with them. For your loved ones, this will ease the process of adapting to their new home as they begin to engage their new neighbours and perhaps, partake in a community activity.
Ensure the community is informed before you arrange such a visit.
3. Effective packing of belongings
Before packing, you should consider asking the community for assistance. Since the said community has been doing it for a long time, their assistance would ease the stress of packing.
If you and your parents are doing it by yourself, we recommend making a list that will make the process less stressful. Start by packing the essential items before moving on to less important things. For this approach to be effective, it has to be gradual and patient.
4. Handle logistics properly
You should take care of logistical items or services like cable, utilities, and internet. Since they will be made available at your parents’ new home, you should plan how to cancel the provision of these utilities at the current residence.
That said, ensure that logistical services, such as postal and bank services, have the details of your parents’ addresses updated. This will ensure that your loved ones keep getting their favourite magazines and newspapers at their new residence.
5. Emotional assistance
As inferred earlier, some mental stress will accompany a transition to a retirement home. So, it is okay for your loved ones to be skeptical about the move.
You should learn to be patient and also provide them with adequate support. It might help if you reiterated that they are in no rush to complete the move. Tell them that you’re ready only when they are.
6. Set up the home nicely
One of the best ways to help your parents find this transition easily is to make them feel like they never left home. This can be achieved by arranging and decorating their new home similarly to their former residence.
Create a homely and aesthetically-pleasing atmosphere, and your beloved parents should have no trouble getting used to their new abode.
After the Move
After your parents move into a retirement living community, getting used to the new environment will take a while. The following are tips on how you can make the adjustment process less daunting for your loved ones.
1. Tell them to get acquainted
There is no way your parents won’t meet neighbours in the community, in the hallway or next door. Having established that, you should encourage your loved ones to get familiar with as many residents as possible.
Given that these neighbours have had transition periods of their own, they can always provide good support for your parents.
2. Be present
Ensure that you visit your parents as often as possible, especially during their first weeks in the retirement community. Not feeling abandoned will surely help them get accustomed to their new surroundings.
Also, you should consider incorporating an activity into your visit. For example, eating lunch together is a good way of spending quality time with your loved ones.
3. Encourage involvement
One of the major perks of retirement communities is the social connection they offer. Encourage your parents to get involved in the community’s social events. As a matter of fact, most retirement communities have groups with specific hobbies or interests.
You should speak to your loved ones about participating in these group activities. This will help them have new things to look forward to in their new home.
4. Remind them to keep old relationships
There is no doubt that making new friends will help your parents get comfortable in their new environment, but maintaining old relationships is just as important. So make sure your folks have plenty of visits to and from old friends and relatives.
From the moment the decision of moving to a retirement residence is made to your parents’ first few weeks at their new home, this guide will ensure that you are well equipped and prepared for the transition.
If you are looking to allow your parents to live happy and fun lives as they grow older, retirement living is your best bet. Contact Seasons Retirement today to get started on this journey.